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Glossary terms about Characteristic X-rays

Characteristic X-rays
X-rays with discrete energies reflecting the electronic configuration of the parent atom, produced after ionization of an inner electron shell and subsequent relaxation of the excited atom.


10 pages mention Characteristic X-rays

Additional material
 
Background information - What is energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy?
Two types of X-rays result from these interactions: Bremsstrahlung X-rays, which means ‘braking radiation’ and are also referred to as Continuum or background X-rays, and characteristic x-rays
Bremsstrahlung X-ray generation
Two types of X-rays are produced by interaction of the electron beam with the sample in both the SEM and TEM: Bremsstrahlung (which means ‘braking radiation’) and characteristic x-rays
Characteristic X-rays
characteristic x-rays are produced by electron transitions between the electron shells. 
EDS spectral artifacts
X-rays coming into the detector can generate characteristic x-rays from the Si crystal. 
EDS spectral resolution
characteristic x-rays have discrete energies but in the process of detecting and measuring them the discrete lines spread into Gaussian peaks. 
Qualitative EDS X-ray microanalysis using SEM and TEM
characteristic x-rays from the coating material may overlap with X-rays produced from the elements in the sample, so carbon is the preferred coating material as it minimizes spectral interferences. 
Quantitative EDS X-ray microanalysis using SEM
The spectra are processed to remove Bremsstrahlung X-rays and spectral artifacts, and then the characteristic x-rays are compared with data measured from standard reference materials. 
X-ray detection by EDS
 
X-ray intensity
In order to generate characteristic x-rays the electrons in the primary beam must have enough energy to overcome the ionization energy, also called the critical ionization energy, of the inner-shell electrons in the atoms of the sample.